KAYSVILLE -- Customers have been shopping at Bowman's Market, a family-owned grocery store, for 100 years. And it is still a family business bearing the family name.
It was 1913 when 22-year-old Junior Joseph (J.J.) Bowman decided to open a general store in the small city of Kaysville. The population was just 1,000 at that time. Using his savings of $5,000 and some borrowed money, the young entrepreneur opened the Golden Rule grocery store at 128 N. Main St. Dry goods, such as jeans, shoes and fabric, were sold on one side of the store while groceries were on the other side.
According to J.J. Bowman's granddaughter, Valerie Bowman Cook, the store was named Golden Rule because her grandfather treated people as he wanted to be treated.
In 1917 the store was relocated to 59 N. Main and that was the first store Cook remembers, as she was very young at the time.
Records kept by the city show that the name of the store changed to Bowman's Market in about 1927 because of J.C. Penney in Wyoming. Penney had used the Golden Rule name for his first store.
Shopping back in 1913 was quite different from how we shop today. Rather than taking a grocery cart and filling it with what they wanted, in 1913 a customer would head to the store with a list of what was needed and hand it to the clerk, who gathered the items on the list for the customer. And customers could even purchase coal for heating their homes.
Richard (Dick) Bowman, son of J.J. Bowman, grew up learning the grocery business as he worked alongside his dad at the store. One of his jobs was to shovel the coal from the delivery truck.
Dick Bowman really didn't plan to follow in his father's footsteps in the grocery business. Returning from a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the New England States Mission, Dick attended the University of Utah planning to become an electrical engineer. But because of his father's declining health, he changed his major to marketing. When his father died in 1957, Dick Bowman, at the age of 24, became a partner with his mother. He later bought his mother's portion of the business.
It was 1957 when Dick took a leap of faith and borrowed money to build a new store at 75 E. 200 North. According to city records, he expanded this building six times, increasing the square footage from just 6,000 square feet to 16,500 square feet.
In 1988, the store once again relocated when it moved to 356 N. Main, where Bennion Craft is now. A new store was built later, where it remains today, at 326 N. Main.
It was August 1991 when Bowman made the decision to stop selling beer and tobacco products.
"He stopped selling tobacco and alcohol to give a positive message to Kaysville youth," said Cook.
Cook recalled a year when her dad decided to open the store on New Year's Day with just his family working, allowing the employees to have the day off. So it was her dad, mother and the children who kept the store running that day.
Bowman's has never been open on Sundays, giving both employees and customers the day off. The only other day of the year it is closed is Christmas, said Cook.
Most of the department heads have been employed by Bowman's for more than 20 years. Grocery manager Mike Reid began at the store as a teenager 29 years ago. After working for two years he served a two-year LDS mission, returning to work at the store where he has been for the past 25 years.
When asked why the business has been viable for so many years, Reid said, "I think it's the community. And it is customer service. We don't carry alcohol or tobacco and we hire local people for the most part."
Bowman was very family and community oriented. As his six children grew they worked in the market, learning many aspects of the grocery business. Then he began hiring students from the community to work there, a practice that is still done today.
In 1985 he began the tradition of holding a July 24 Bowman's/Kaysville Recreation community breakfast at the store. Bowman supplies the food and donates all of the proceeds to Kaysville City Recreation.
Dick Bowman also served on the city council. He served as president of the Kaysville Rotary Club, was a member of the Davis County Board of Health, member of the Kaysville Jaycees, served as a trustee for the Davis North Medical Center and was an LDS bishop. He also contributed to many community events. He died in May 2012.
Bowman's will sponsor a chili dinner at the Kaysville City Monster Mash and Dash on October 12. There will be a drawing for a Thanksgiving food basket at the store in November, and on Dec. 14 the tradition of free pictures with Santa will continue.
Store hours are 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. on Saturday, closed Sunday.